Friday, December 10, 2010

A Seattle Center Sunday

I have a feeling if I keep this blog up I'll have many posts about the Seattle Center. There's a lot going on down there - museums, events, and of course, the Space Needle. Last Sunday we headed downtown for a triple dose of unconventional culture - Urban Craft Uprising, the Science Fiction Museum, and the Experience Music Project.

First we stopped to admire the fountain.

Next we walked to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall to check out the Seattle craft scene at Urban Craft Uprising. It was packed! And bursting with handmade awesomeness.

I hope to one day see kokoleo in that crowd. I miss being a part of a thriving craft scene.

I immediately recognized these Devout dolls from a group art show my kokoleo monsters were in at Monkeyhouse Toys in Los Angeles years ago. I love her stuff, and apparently so does McKenna. 

Next we headed across the plaza? lawn? center? (whatever they call it) to the museums. Look kids, Space Needle! with a quintessential drizzly gray backdrop.

Here's the Experience Music Project/ Science Fiction Museum. It's hard to know where one ends and the other begins.

McKenna was happy to find a pile of dirty leftover snow.

And Sage tried to figure out the maze painted on the cement outside.

Space Needle!

The walk up to the museum evokes a spaceship/acid trip experience to prepare you for what lies inside.

First, the Science Fiction museum traces the history of freak-filled literature and film.




 A massive cyclone of instruments!

 Wait, what? Okay, now we're in the Experience Music Project part. The kids listened to Jimi Hendrix music in the Jimi Hendrix room. Apparently we're big fans because this is the second weekend we've given them a Jimi Hendrix experience.

These are some of the first electric guitars ever made.

The inside architecture is as crazy as the outside.

Okay, now we're in the science fiction part again.


I half expected to walk into a hybrid room where robots and aliens were jamming out on electric guitars and belting out sci-fi rock n' roll.

Here's the hands-on music room where you get to try out all aspects of music making, like vocals:





You can even get a private studio for a while and jam out with yer bad selves without anyone having to hear it.

Or you can play with your friends like you're a real rock 'n roll band cutting a record.

 One last inside shot on the way out...

Now, the outside, looking up...

Check out the Christmas tree-shaped lights atop the Space Needle. On the way out I captured the other Seattle Center landmark across the street.

After a day filled with awesomely weird crafts, robots, aliens, monsters, and flamboyant rock 'n rollers, it seems fitting to end with a giant neon elephant.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have your children been experienced? Well, ours have.

I have a confession to make. We don't really live in Seattle. We live in Renton, just 15 minutes (depending on traffic) south of the city. And while it's not as hip as say, Fremont or Queen Anne or as fancy as Redmond or Bellevue, we like it just fine. Besides, it's the birthplace and resting place of Jimi Hendrix, so that's something to be proud of. Last weekend we checked out his memorial at Greenwood Memorial Park.

It's relatively new, having been officially dedicated in 2002. It took his father a long time to raise the funds to erect it and unfortunately he died before it was completed.

The inside walls are etched with his likeness

and lyrics.

Apparently it's the thing to do to leave lipmarks behind.

So I did.

People also leave behind flowers, guitar picks, cigarettes, and notes.

There are several gravestones surrounding it for other Hendrix family members, but most are blank.

Jimi Hendrix' birthday, November 27th, is the day after mine, and his middle name, Marshall, is Erik's middle name.

There's also a sundial, and in the distance is the Garden of Eternal Peace.

It's relatively new too (dedicated in 2006), and most of the gravestones are blank.

It was built by and for the Asian community in Seattle, but open to anyone who wants to be buried there, I'm sure. It's a beautiful area with gardens and a moat and waterfalls

That's Jimi Hendirx memorial in the background.

 By this time it started raining. It seemed fitting though.

Rainy day, dream away
Ah let the sun take a holiday
Flowers bathe an' ah see the children play
Lay back and groove on a rainy day.
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